Many countries struggled with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic as it overwhelmed health services and forced everyone into lockdown. In Ecuador, inadequate public funding for healthcare and longstanding unequal access to resources heightened the damage of the virus. Here, Michael D. Hill and Consuelo Fernández-Salvador examine how Ecuadorians adapted to the digital divide apparent in the shift to virtual classes and state abandonment in healthcare. They found people opted for collaboration, solidarity, and medical pluralism to tackle the inequalities heightened by the pandemic.
Michael D. Hill
Michael D. Hill (PhD, Emory University) is professor (and formerly chair) of anthropology at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) in Ecuador. His research and teaching interests include tourism and heritage, Andean ethnic identities, organizational anthropology, and life history and collaborative ethnographic methodologies. He has published numerous articles in research journals such as the Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology, Ethnography, Critical Public Health, Human Organization, and the Journal of the American Academy of Religion, among others. He is author of a chapter on the cultural economies of tourism in the edited collection The Andean World (Routledge, 2018), and his recent coauthored book is a life history of social mobility in the life of Indigenous collaborator Georgina Maldonado titled Para aprender a viajar así: Movilidad social en la vida de una mujer quechua (with Georgina Maldonado; Instituto de Estudios Peruanos and USFQ Press, 2020). He possesses a strong record of projects involving interdisciplinary and inter-institutional collaboration, including directing a project on organizational culture with Ecuador's largest private-sector bank and coordinating research teams for a museum exhibition and book titled Diversidades espirituales y religiosas en Quito, Ecuador: Una mirada desde la etnografía colaborativa (USFQ Press, 2018), on religious diversity with Quito's City Museums.